This weekend at Camp Meridale was just what I needed. There aren't enough words to describe how much I needed this. It brought me back to what I knew before life got in the way. Simplicity, friendship, compassion, fun. I had forgotten how to have those things in my life. Instead of getting upset because there was no 3G service and I couldn't access my email, I put the phone down and enjoyed nature and the fellowship with old friends I hadn't seen in almost 20 years. I enjoyed the scenery and listening to the other Girl Scouts' stories from their summers spent at Camp Meridale. Stories from the 1940's. Stories from the 1970's. I loved walking through the camp and realizing the "long" walk to the treehouses, really wasn't that long at all. I remember the dinner bell being huge. I remember walking arm-in-arm with fellow campers, shining our flashlights on the path watching for snakes and other critters. I remember the treehouses being really high off the ground. At 10 years old and 4 feet tall, everything seemed larger than life. Now, despite my perspective changing, it was still a magical place. Carla, Brandye and I (girls from my old troop) immediately became best friends again. We walked around the campsites posing for each others pictures and remembering which tents, treehouses and wagons we slept in as kids. We reminisced about campfires, mock suppers, skits and songs, breakfast in the trees and the adventure course. I truly felt like a kid again.
I saw these cups in the cabinet in the old lodge and started remembering how much we used them! These cups were our drinking cups at all our meals. It's little things like this that allow those memories to come back! Carla, Brandye and I wanted to take some home with us!
Troop 16 together again! Mrs. Eloise (back) was our leader. In the middle is LaShundra and Brandye. Sitting is Tabitha, Carla and me.
This is Leslie Lee Priester. She was instrumental in organizing this reunion. She started working with the Girl Scouts in the 80's when I started camping. I remember her and Mrs. Lexie (old B&W photo below) were the camp directors. Ms Leslie Lee lead our campfires and songs this weekend.
Mrs. Lexie Muse passed away earlier this year. She was instrumental in the camp's development during the 70's, 80's and 90's. I remember her always being so strong and held together with a bunch of little girls running around. She lead Grace before meals .She was always involved with the skits and songs we sang. She entertained us with her stories and songs.
During this weekend, we planted a Southern Magnolia tree in her memory. Mrs. Lexie will definitely be missed.
This past weekend at Camp Meridale was amazing! I haven't laughed and cried happy tears this much in a long time. I still get all sentimental, days later. I feel rejuvenated and have a fresh perspective on life.
Since the reunion, I've made many new friends. Together we have come up with the idea of starting a blog to collect all of our camp memories. Here's the link. I added my thoughts already. We hope others who weren't able to make it to the reunion can add to the blog their photos and memories of their fun times in Girl Scouting. I also emailed the current director of the local Girl Scouts about volunteering this summer.